Embattled offshore Retail FX broker Samtrade FX has posted an “FAQ” statement, updating the effective shutdown of the company by Singapore police and that country’s financial regulator MAS earlier this month. The police and regulator action included the arrest of three Samtrade FX management team members, which we believe includes the company’s controlling shareholder and CEO, Sam Goh.

The FAQ statement (see full text below) does not really provide much of an update, other than confirming our earlier report that the company is not able to either complete client trades, nor honor client withdrawal requests at this stage. It also did not make any mention or provide an update on the arrests of its management team group.

At the time of the arrests and shutdown, the regulator said that Samtrade FX and its related entities are currently being investigated for carrying on a business in any regulated activity, while based in Singapore, without a capital markets services license. The regulator added that there is reason to suspect that irregular trading activities have been carried out on the platform, and investigations are being carried out on these activities.

The full text of the Samtrade FX “FAQ” statement follows:


FAQ IN RELATION TO MEDIA RELEASE DATED 3 JANUARY 2022 BY COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT AND MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

This FAQ is intended to answer questions arising from our recent corporate statement in relation to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the CAD and MAS of Singapore. If you have not done so, please read it here.

Q1: Where is the status of customers / investors’ deposits now?

A1: The management and the officers of the companies cannot access the relevant account(s) where the customers / investors’ deposits currently reside. CAD has also issued prohibition orders against the companies’ management from accessing such accounts.

The companies and its officers are seeking legal advice to consider options related to gaining access to the clients’ deposits to meet any withdrawal request by customers / investors based on contractual obligations on a best-efforts basis.

Hence, we have currently suspended all local and overseas business operations of our key operating entities and other affiliated entities. We will review this on an ongoing basis.

Q2: What is the status of the companies’ transaction process (deposit, withdrawals etc) and operations? If so, was it carried out by the authorities?

A2: The management of the company was compelled to suspend the companies’ business operations, including but not limited to account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, due to the prohibition orders imposed by the Authorities on the management.

Q3: Is there any way customers / investors can withdraw their deposits or have the deposits returned to them?

A3: We refer to A1 above.

The companies and its officers are seeking legal advice to consider options related to gaining access to the clients’ deposits to meet any withdrawal request by customers / investors based on contractual obligations on a best-efforts basis.

Q4: Is there any specific timeline where customers / investors can have their deposits returned to them?

A4: We refer to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the Authorities which stated that investigations commenced on 28 December 2021. We are unable to provide any specific timeline given that investigations are ongoing.

Q5: As MAS is an authority in Singapore, how would overseas investors be impacted, if any?

A5: MAS regulates financial institutions and entities in Singapore and/or financial institutions and entities which have business operations in Singapore. Presently, as stated in the Authorities’ media release dated 3 January 2022, the joint investigations by the authorities are in relation to the online trading platform, Samtrade FX run by Samtrade FX Limited and its related Singapore entities, Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd. Overseas investors are impacted because of the prohibition orders placed by the Authorities on the companies’ management on the operations of these entities pending the outcome of the investigations.

Q6: Is there an information portal that customers / investors can refer to for further information?

A6: We will continue to post updates on this matter on our corporate website [https://www.samtradefx.com/news] on a best-efforts basis.